Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Senator _________'s in ____________, California. I'm calling to ask the senator to demand more urgent action from the Senate Intelligence Committee, as it looks into President Trump's ties to Russia and that country's meddling in our 2016 election. If Republicans refuse to create an independent commission, the Senate committee is our best hope for finding out the truth. Yet the committee's chairman, Richard Burr, has failed to subpoena a single document, interview witnesses, or schedule any more public hearings. And the committee's ranking member, Mark Warner, seems more concerned with bipartisanship than with holding Burr's feet to the fire. This investigation must move forward! Thank you.
A steady drip of recent media reports have documented efforts by President Trump and his associates to conceal their ties to Moscow, and their possible collusion in the Russians' attempt to swing the 2016 election in Trump's favor. Meanwhile, evidence has begun to emerge of Russia surreptitiously seeking to influence yet another major national election, this time in France. Still, as veteran political reporter Michael Isikoff wrote yesterday, three months into the Trump administration the Senate Intelligence Committee "has made little progress, and is increasingly stymied by partisan divisions that are jeopardizing the future of the inquiry."
The parallel investigation in the House of Representatives is still reeling from the scandal surrounding Rep. Devin Nunes' recusal as chairman, following his late-night visit to the White House grounds and subsequent provision of leaked information to Trump, rather than to his own colleagues. With Republicans insistent that they will not agree to an independent investigation, the Senate committee's work has come under the microscope, and Democrats have grown impatient for accelerated action.
However, as Isikoff writes, the committee under chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) "has yet to issue a single subpoena for documents or interview any key witnesses who are central to the probe...It also hasn’t requested potentially crucial evidence — such as the emails, memos and phone records of the Trump campaign — in part because [Burr] has so far failed to respond to requests from the panel’s Democrats to sign letters doing so."
Isikoff reports that Democrats also are impatient with the committee's top member of their own party, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), whom they see as having "been too reluctant to challenge Burr and press for more aggressive action — for fear of undercutting the perception that he and the Republican chairman are working cooperatively together."